Thursday, May 14, 2009
Agro Technology Parks in Langkawi
The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is confident that the Malaysian Agriculture Research Development Institute (Mardi) is capable of producing fruits all-year round to be savoured by tourists visiting the Mardi Agro Technology Park here.
Its minister Datuk Noh Omar said many foreign tourists wanted to look at the fruiting trees and taste the fruits, such as starfruit and pineapple, at the park.
"Mardi has the expertise to grow trees that can produce fruits all-year round at its agro technology parks in Langkawi and Cameron Highlands," he told a news conference after visiting the park, here, today.
The 27.39ha park, which is developed also for agro-tourism, grows more than 20 types of fruit like rambutan, jackfruit, guava, mango, durian and oranges, as well as vegetables and ulam.
Noh said Mardi's expertise had also attracted foreign countries like Nigeria to learn from the agro technology it had developed, including in rice cultivation.
He said the ministry would like the private sector to further develop the agro park here by building chalets for tourists to stay.
The park received 23,995 visitors in 2008, from 18,820 in 2007 and 9,206 in 2006, with over 80 per cent of them being foreigners.
Noh said the ministry provided an allocation of RM300,000 for the park this year and hoped that its management would also focus on offering visitors fruity buffet, and overnight stay and fishing for visitors.
Besides the Mardi agro technology parks in Langkawi and Cameron Highlands, the MAHA site in Serdang and Bukit Cerakah Agro Park, both in Selangor, were also chosen by the ministry to promote agro tourism.
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